LAHORE: Tehrik Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) is considering resuming countrywide protest against the government for failing to implement an agreement on expelling the French ambassador and taking other measures for organised blasphemy of the Prophet (SAW) in France that angered the Muslim world.
“Instead of implementing the agreement between the PTI government and TLP leadership after a three-day sit-in in Islamabad on November 17, 2020, the government has stepped up victimisation of TLP and is placing dozens of its leaders and workers in the Fourth Schedule,” said a central leader and member of TLP central Shoora while talking to The News on condition of anonymity on Monday.
He said the agreement was overseen and guaranteed by Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noorul Haq Qadri, other top government officials and heads of law enforcing agencies. The agreement called for expelling the French ambassador, official boycott of French products and release of all detained TLP workers and leaders besides withdrawing cases against them.
“The agreement called for implementation of the agreement within two to three months, and the three months deadline ends on February 16, 2021, which is just two weeks away,” he said, adding that instead of showing sincerity with the agreement, the government had in fact violated the agreement by stepping up victimization of the TLP leadership by putting dozens of more TLP leaders and workers in the fourth schedule. He said Nacta issued a recent report which notified dozens of more TLP leaders, including the new president Hafiz Saad Rizvi and many leaders and workers, whose names were put into the fourth schedule despite that majority of them had no previous record with the police.
In addition, he said, the law enforcing agencies personnel were harassing the TLP leadership and workers across Punjab, threatening to book them in terrorism cases.
The TLP leader did not specify the mode of new protest campaign, saying the agenda was under consideration of the central leadership and could be announced within a few days after it got the final shape.
He said protest rallies, demonstrations and strike calls were being discussed by the leadership. He said during negotiations with the TLP leadership before the signing of agreement, the government representatives had agreed that systematic blasphemy of the Holy Prophet (SAW) and the French government’s patronization of blasphemers had not only violated the religious freedom of Muslims, but also deeply hurt the religious feelings of 1.8 billion Muslims of the world, including the citizens of Pakistan.
“But it is all the more regrettable that the PTI government which came to power in the name of making Pakistan a Madina-like state, is callously trampling the religious sentiments of the overwhelming Muslim majority in the country,” he said.